West Brom will be heading into the January transfer window with tight pursestrings having effectively used the majority of their budget in bringing Karlan Grant to the club this summer.
It means Baggies boss Slaven Bilic may have to make do with what he’s got, therefore it would be wise to dip into their impressive academy set-up and with Kenneth Zohore out on loan and Charlie Austin seemingly having no future at the Hawthorns, a new forward may be required.
Look no further than Cheikh Diaby, who has been pulling up trees for the U23 squad once again this week.
The young Albion side fell to defeat against a fairly strong Leeds United side, which involved mega-money signing Rodrigo and veteran goalkeeper Kiko Casilla, on Monday afternoon. It was the Frenchman who handed West Brom the lead going into the break.
And as a result, many supporters were crying out for him to feature in the senior squad soon.
Earlier this month, academy chief Richard Stevens hinted that the 20-year-old could be sent out on loan in January, following in the footsteps of Rayhaan Tulloch, Jamie Soule and Owen Windsor.
He told the Express & Star:
“He’s a powerful boy, he’s going to score goals, he’s going to give defences a problem because of his physicality. He’s got plenty to develop but he’s an interesting one. He could maybe do with a loan, maybe after Christmas, because he could do with getting some exposure somewhere.”
Whilst this is very much true, he could be worth a punt under Bilic first. His attributes make him an interesting option as he could quite easily become his next Michail Antonio (West Ham) or Hal Robson-Kanu – a forward who can play anywhere across the front three with pace, energy and power.
He has scored three goals in the Premier League 2 already this campaign.
Diaby very nearly joined Valencia before signing a contract with the Baggies in the summer of 2019, so that tells you all you need to know about his potential and he ought to be rewarded for choosing a then-Championship outfit over a promising La Liga side proven in producing young talent.
Only two Premier League teams have scored fewer than the six Albion have managed this season, so perhaps throwing an unknown quantity into the mix could help spurn a shock or two on teams that do not know Diaby as well as the West Brom staff do.
Kyle Edwards and Dara O’Shea have turned out to be worthy, so why not the emerging sensation?
AND in other news, West Brom dodged a massive bullet with £27m-rated trouble-maker…